Friday, March 27, 2015

March 23, 2015

Happy 38th birthday old mother, just kidding! Well it sounds like you are all staying real busy with the wedding, priesthood ordination and what not. Keep Brother Barton in your prayers. Our week was good, I'll try and add detail to make it long. Our mileage limitations are really getting cut as a mission, so on Tuesday we picked a name and then walked around for an hour after that knocking doors, we had a few good contacts and actually met a PM couple and other people who weren't opposed to us coming back. Then we had a lesson with a less active named Scott. He hasn't been to church in a long time and we had a good chat about that and the blessing that the gospel brings, the member we brought really testified of that and how he needs the gospel. We walked/ biked a lot for the afternoon too and got kicked out of 2 RV parks for "soliciting", it was the managers at both so we respected that. We got a new investigator who is a young single mom and could use the gospel, we are going back tomorrow. Wore a green tie. Wednesday was district meeting in Payson, Elder Pyper and I gave a training on Contacting people and asking inspired questions. Then we spent the afternoon in Gisela. We first did service, picked up Pecan for a Potential Investigator and then went out with our BML, Brother Wall (stud) for a lesson to Buck, where we talked about faith and hopefully can start teaching him. And then also with Walter and talked about the temple and families. They actually ad a picture of the Mesa temple in their house and didn't even know it! We then had dinner with a family we are trying to help get to the temple, the Wynns. Then drove the long treacherous drive to Young. Thursday we met our BML, Brother Williams and talked about the branch. He is definitely more of a let's wait type of person. We had a visit with a RC/reactivated couple and it was a good chat. Then we met a few less actives, Brother Connor, the Hardy's. We also saw Jenny and Mike (pmf) and they said they would think about taking the missionary lessons! We went to a community church dinner and were welcomed by the people their! Friday was a lot like Thursday, visiting people wise, but we had a lesson with Trevor and he really wants to be baptized! We didn't set a date with him quite yet because we want him to commit to the gospel first, but he already knows everything from past missionary visits and lessons. The member family Trevor lives with catches wild horses and sells the, cool huh? Well they cut off the horse nuts and eat them so next time we are in young we will have rocky mountain oysters, horse style. My companion isn't to excited about that but he will partake! There was a crazy hail storm and we couldn't see at all on the roads that put a damper on our afternoon. Saturday we had breakfast with some members and then went and helped build the community center! It was pretty cool. We then had a lesson with a widowed lady named Cindy, we taught the plan of salvation and it was good! Sunday was stake conference and it was great! Except the broadcast kept not working and Trevor didn't show up.. I am out of time, have a good week!

Monday, March 16, 2015

March 16, 2015

We made it to Young this week! It was nice, it’s another tiny speck on the map, we got there late Monday night and met the branch president. Tuesday we got to go to Snowflake for a temple trip which was fantastic! After that we had ZTM which was pretty good. Then we had our drive back and it was night when we got there, we had dinner with a member and then went and met some other members. Wednesday we spend a solid 3 hours cleaning our humble abode. Then we went out and finally started working! We had quite the day, we found the 2 people the other missionaries were trying to teach and introduced ourselves to them, and are going back, and we also found another new investigator that missionaries have done service for before. We have a return appointment! We also went to see a referral who turned out to be X'd so that was fun... Then met a few other LA and PMF's. In Tonto we did quite a bit of service, we built a fence, cleaned up brush and built some steps for a patio, there was steps there, but snakes were getting in so we tore it up and filled in the hole going under the house and rebuilt it. We have had a bunch of LA lessons! 2 new less actives were at church Sunday so that was good to help get them there, we invited a bunch more than 2 but we will see what comes of the rest. I spoke in church on Sunday, I was asked to speak on the Atonement, I think it went pretty well but I only got about halfway through before I ran out of time so I had to sit back down. The chapel is nice and small, but it doesn’t have any stairs leading up to the stand, just a podium and then a little fence looking thing to the sides just like in a normal chapel just flat, well anyways when I started my talk I made the joke that there was no stairs because most of the people in the branch might not be able to climb stairs anymore. It was pretty funny. One of the scriptures from my talk was Alms 7:11- 16 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me. Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness. Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism. And whosoever doeth this, and keepeth the commandments of God from thenceforth, the same will remember that I say unto him, yea, he will remember that I have said unto him, he shall have eternal life, according to the testimony of the Holy Spirit, which testifieth in me. Have a good week! Love Elder Stevenson

Monday, March 9, 2015

March 9, 2015

We made it to our area. It is good, Tonto Basin is pretty small little town filled with old people but it's a good place. People seem to be home in the day so that is nice, but they all go to bed at like 7 so that makes it hard at night. The members here are really good, our Branch Mission Leader, Brother Wall is a recent convert of like 3 years, he is almost 80 and he is full of energy and ready to work! We didn't have any investigators or anything when we got here so we have been shooting from the hip a bit but with help from the members we have been getting our feet on the ground and getting to know people and their needs. Tonight we are headed to Pleasant Valley/ Young for the first time and are going to spend a few days there. its 2 hours away so it's a little trek. There is a lot of Potential work to be done in our area, lots of part member families and less active work. We went out with our EQP also and it was good, he served in Pocatello! On Saturday we went and saw a referral for a less active, our talk with him was a little heated and he basically said he didn't have or want a testimony.. But on Sunday he showed up for church! What a nice surprise. Well I don't really have much else to say, Alma 37:43 And now, my son, I would that ye should understand that these things are not without a shadow; for as our fathers were slothful to give heed to this compass (now these things were temporal) they did not prosper; even so it is with things which are spiritual. 44 For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land. Don't let yourself follow as a shadow of wickedness, but learn from the mistakes of others and do what is right! Love, Elder Stevenson

Thursday, March 5, 2015

March 2, 2015

Well Hello! This is a transfer week! I have been transferred to a new area, to Tonto Basin and Young. Both of which are very small towns and are only branches. My new companion is Elder Pyper, he is from Utah and has been out 4 months now. (He was actually my last companions- Elder Swaners, trainee!) We are white washing our area and it should be fun! I am sad to leave Camelview ward after 6 months but this should be good too, we haven't actually been to our area yet.. Yesterday was transfers and the Elders who's area it was before didn't make it transfers because they got snowed in then once they started driving had to return for their phone and then again for their luggage. So this morning they met up with us and we drove for 4 hours to get things all worked out. It's been rough, but hopefully when we get to our area later today we will be able to work hard and start getting things moving. Last week was good, on Saturday Kyle's step-son who is 8 was baptized! It was good and even better because Kyle was there. He should keep moving along. We also FINALLY were able to meet with Ben and Kenna again. Said 'till we meet again to them and the Elders are going back over tonight for a lesson so things should start moving forward again! We had a few good lessons last week, said my good byes mostly on Monday. We got to work out with the new missionaries on Tuesday, taught them how to play gator-ball! Also got to see a lot of missionaries on Tuesday, it was great! Saw Elder Hinds and he has grown even more then when we served together! Maybe someday we will be companions again! Well I don't really know what else to say except I hope all is well! My scripture for the week comes from a hymn: I believe in Christ; he stands supreme! From him I'll gain my fondest dream; And while I strive through grief and pain, His voice is heard: "Ye shall obtain." I believe in Christ; so come what may, With him I'll stand in that great day When on this earth he comes again To rule among the sons of men. I believe in Christ! Love Elder Stevenson

Monday, March 2, 2015

February 23, 2015

This week was pretty good, on Tuesday we weren't able to meet with Kyle like we usually do, but he came to church on Sunday and he told us he has switched his schedule so that now he has Saturday and Sunday off instead of having to work the weekends and miss part of church! I am very happy about that, so we went over yesterday afternoon and had a lesson. He is a little timid about staying for Priesthood, but I think a couple invites from some members of the Elders quorum should do! His son who is 8.5 is going to get baptized on Saturday, this plus meeting with his whole family should really help his progression! We had a good lesson with the Bohnert family this week. This morning he texted us a 5 page message and dropped us. It's his agency. It has been really hard to meet with Ben because of his busy work schedule and Kenna wants to wait for him, we will keep trying. We had one good lesson with Erick and Kenna so little by little I guess. Nicole and James were doing good, then when we were going over to teach James the 15 step quit smoking program we heard a lot of yelling so we rang the doorbell anyways and there was some physical contact inside we heard, so we called the cops and they came over. On a good note we were at that same complex and there is a lot of black people there from Africa so and they all seem to be Muslim, well we always try talking to them anyways and we talked to a man named Solomon who said we can come teach his family! He is one who was actually sincere and wants to know more so I am excited for that! We had ZTM this week and it was very good, sadly Elder Swaner and I's training about obedience we made we didn't have time to give because a lot of the other people ran over time, but most of the stuff was talked about we will share ours at the district meetings instead. We picked up a former family so we will see where that goes! Mark 12:30-31 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. I hope you have a good week and love the Lord! Love, Elder Stevenson

February 16, 2015

Howdy! This week was pretty good, we had Zone Conference on Wednesday. On Tuesday night we found out we were in charge of 75 minutes (split with the Sisters) so that was fun planning. We only got half the agenda the Friday before and then the computer wouldn't work on Monday so on Tuesday we finally got it printed and thought that must be wrong and then heard back at 8:30 it was right.. Well it went pretty good! We talked about the standards of excellence our mission has (3 people on baptism date and 3 people progressing always) The rest of zone conference was really good, learned about ordinances and then talked a lot about families. This week we didn't have a lesson with Ben and Kenna, sadly Ben has been working a bunch then on Saturday night Kenna's baby was sick and they didn't make it to church. So hopefully we can get back on track with them and help them come around. We did meet with Erick though and he is still doing great. We got talking to one of his neighbors and he is now a new investigator! We finally met with Kyle again, it feels like it’s been forever, he had 2 family deaths in the last month so it’s been rough, but we taught the plan of salvation and it really hit home. We have been met with a man named Hayden at a behavioral hospital 2ce this last week, it has been really neat, he's from Utah and a member and all but he will probably get moved somewhere this week. Had another lesson with the Bohnert/ Neild family. Brother Bohnert is scared to be baptized cause his "family will disown him" he is going to meet with his dad tomorrow night and talk to him so hopefully that goes well. We are getting some French sisters and have spent some time trying to figure out details and coordinate for that for next transfer. We went on a mini exchange with the Eldorado Elders to help them work toward those standards of excellence I mentioned earlier. This morning we got up really early and went to the temple! It was open for Presidents day this morning so that was really neat, I learned so much, a lot of new things stick out to me! Alma 19:13 reads-For as sure as thou livest, behold, I have seen my Redeemer; and he shall come forth, and be born of a woman, and he shall redeem all mankind who believe on his name. Now, when he had said these words, his heart was swollen within him, and he sunk again with joy; and the queen also sunk down, being overpowered by the Spirit. I read this and was thinking about how he "sunk again with joy... being overpowered by the Spirit." In that moment Lamoni really came to an understanding and realization of his Redeemer. I think this was similar to when Christ's apostles "slept with sorrow" while watching the Atonement in the Garden, just some things to ponder about! Have a good week! Love, Elder Stevenson

February 9, 2015

Erick's baptism was great! He was baptized by our ward mission leader. From his stroke a while back half of his body is pretty slow, when he got put under his leg would stay stiff with his body and his knee kept coming out, but 3rd time was the charm! He bore his testimony at the baptism and it was really, really neat, usually Erick's English isn't the best but when he bore his testimony everything sounded smooth and flowed. He asked me to confirm him so we did that on Sunday, it’s been a while since I've confirmed anyone so it was very special. It was ward conference so there was a lot of people from that stake at church, the meetings were good, centered around the atonement and families. Last Monday night we had a lesson with Erick and his sister Kenna (her husband Ben was still at work) and gave him a priesthood blessing at the end of our lesson, the spirit was very strong and Kenna really felt it, the cool part was after everything we were about to leave and Kenna asked if anyone could receive a blessing, we of course said yes and she said she would like one when Ben was there... So later in the week when we met with everyone we gave her a blessing and it was really neat. It was also neat for Ben to be there and afterward be able to talk to him about how he can hold the Priesthood for his family one day. The week was good other than that, had a lesson with the Bohnert family, they have had a lot of trials the last few weeks, but hopefully things will look up hill and we can help them progress. I'm short on time but hope you have a good week! Alma 34:8-10 And now, behold, I will testify unto you of myself that these things are true. Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it. For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made. For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice. Love, Elder Stevenson

February 2, 2015

This week was good, I forgot my last month’s planner that I use as my memory... so don't remember too much. Here's what I do remember. We went on exchanges, I went with the Spanish Elders, it was pretty fun, in the morning we moved some guy from Poland (they don't speak Spanish) and he had a huge grand piano and a small door and a tall u-haul. It worked out though, it was fun to be on bike for the day. The other unique part of the day was the evening, one of the Elders was asked to return to an old area and perform a baptism, and luckily for me it was right next to my old area so there was a lot of good memories. We were contacting referrals one night and felt prompted to knock on a random door, it turned out to be the right door, a young father named Adrian who really needed us to stop by. You could tell he has had a rough rough life so far and before we finished our lesson he broke down into tears and was sobbing. Because of the Super Bowl we spent some time contacting people in downtown Scottsdale this week, it was pretty fun, one guy bought us expensive gelato and we had quite the chat with him. We may go back this week because the Phoenix open is still going on. Church was pretty slow, we only Erick and one other investigator who is not really progressing there. Erick is doing great though! We had a lesson with his family last night (luckily Micronesian's don't seem to be football fans), they didn't make it to church due to a late night with the baby and being really tired. Testimony meeting was pretty good, there was another church youth group who visited our sacrament (Unitarian) so we had 3 rows of visitors. I bore my testimony. We had some really good lessons, one with Imran and Virginia, a family we went to the open house with a while ago, sadly they are going to move in a month. The Missouri missionaries will be happy though. This week should be good! JS History 1:16-17 I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—“This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” Love, Elder Stevenson

January 26, 2015

Hi family, It seems like we just spoke! All has been well, in answer to your questions mom, Elder Swaner has been out 6 months now, and he’s awesome. Last night we went to the temple visitor’s center with Erick, Kenna, Ben and Frazilynn, it was rushed, but it was great! We also brought brother Groshong with us, we watched the JSPR video, and we talked a little more about the gift of the Holy Ghost (it was from the lesson at church) and prophets today. Sadly we didn't have time do all the things we wanted to but all is well. Erick is doing especially great and preparing for his baptism, today is his birthday! Since Wednesday we had a few other good lessons, hopefully we will continue to see miracles and be blessed and guided by the Lord :) Church was good yesterday, we had 6 investigators so that was good, NICOLE FINALLY CAME TO CHURCH!!! Last week we didn't have any lessons with Nicole and left her in the Lords hands and said if she is prepared help us to know so and that she will find a way to come to church, and she did so that was a neat miracle. Now if she can start coming consistently we will be good and she will be baptized. Kyle was also their and he is doing well, thanks for all the feedback and ideas of culture and traditions. The Pearl of Great Price is pretty good, here is one scripture I liked this morning! Moses 7:53 And the Lord said: Blessed is he through whose seed Messiah shall come; for he saith—I am Messiah, the King of Zion, the Rock of Heaven, which is broad as eternity; whoso cometh in at the gate and climbeth up by me shall never fall; wherefore, blessed are they of whom I have spoken, for they shall come forth with songs of everlasting joy. Thank you for all the prayers! Love, Elder Stevenson